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March 24 2017

13:30

Controlling ice formation

(Phys.org)—Researchers have demonstrated that ice crystals will grow along straight lines in a controlled way on microgrooved surfaces. Compared to the random formation of ice crystals on smooth surfaces, the ice on the microgrooved surfaces forms more slowly and melts more quickly, which could lead to improved anti-icing and deicing methods. Ice formation is currently a major problem in a wide variety of areas, including solar panels, refrigeration systems, power transmission systems, and aircraft, and the new surface may help reduce ice build-up in these systems.
12:31

Multi-parameter microscopy aids design of improved optoelectronic devices

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has developed a novel measurement method, providing simultaneous topographical, electrical, chemical and optical microscopy (STEOM) at the nanoscale for the first time. The new method can be used to optimise the performance of optoelectronic devices such as organic solar cells, sensors and transistors.
09:31

The world's first international race for molecular cars, the Nanocar Race

Nanocars will compete for the first time ever during an international molecule-car race on April 28-29, 2017 in Toulouse (south-western France). The vehicles, which consist of a few hundred atoms, will be powered by minute electrical pulses during the 36 hours of the race, in which they must navigate a racecourse made of gold atoms, and measuring a maximum of a 100 nanometers in length. They will square off beneath the four tips of a unique microscope located at the CNRS's Centre d'élaboration de matériaux et d'études structurales (CEMES) in Toulouse. The race, which was organized by the CNRS, is first and foremost a scientific and technological challenge, and will be broadcast live on the YouTube Nanocar Race channel. Beyond the competition, the overarching objective is to advance research in the observation and control of molecule-machines.

March 23 2017

21:11

Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light

Rice University scientists have created an efficient, simple-to-manufacture oxygen-evolution catalyst that pairs well with semiconductors for solar water splitting, the conversion of solar energy to chemical energy in the form of hydrogen and oxygen.
18:00

Biophysicists construct complex hybrid structures using DNA and proteins

Florian Praetorius and Prof. Hendrik Dietz of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a new method that can be used to construct custom hybrid structures using DNA and proteins. The method opens new opportunities for fundamental research in cell biology and for applications in biotechnology and medicine.
13:20

Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm

The ability to deliver cargo like drugs or DNA into cells is essential for biological research and disease therapy but cell membranes are very good at defending their territory. Researchers have developed various methods to trick or force open the cell membrane but these methods are limited in the type of cargo they can deliver and aren't particularly efficient.
09:54

'Synthetic skin' could lead to advanced prosthetic limbs capable of returning sense of touch to amputees

Engineers from the University of Glasgow, who have previously developed an 'electronic skin' covering for prosthetic hands made from graphene, have found a way to use some of graphene's remarkable physical properties to use energy from the sun to power the skin.

March 22 2017

16:03

Insights pave way for solar cells and photodetectors based on tunable nanoparticles

Solar cells and photodetectors could soon be made from new types of materials based on semiconductor quantum dots, thanks to new insights based on ultrafast measurements capturing real-time photoconversion processes.
12:42

Chemical reactions 'filmed' at the single-molecule level

Scientists have succeeded in 'filming' inter-molecular chemical reactions – using the electron beam of a transmission electron microscope (TEM) as a stop-frame imaging tool. They have also discovered that the electron beam can be simultaneously tuned to stimulate specific chemical reactions by using it as a source of energy as well as an imaging tool.
12:35

Imprinting nano-patterns in metals

Materials scientists at the TU Darmstadt are imprinting nano-patterns in metals, a technology that could give metallic surfaces permanent functionality, like a lotus effect or reduced frictional properties.
12:20

Supercritical carbon dioxide delivers protective molecules to semiconductor surfaces

A simple, green method that applies a protective coating to semiconductors could help to develop these materials for many applications, from batteries to biosensors.
11:41

Chemists create nanoparticles for safe imaging of tumors

Chemists from Russia and Switzerland created biosafe luminescent nanoparticles for imaging tumors and blood vessels damaged by heart attack or stroke. The particles are made of hafnium oxide that is used for intravenous injection, and doped with ions of rare earth metals. The scientists hope to create an alternative to toxic quantum dots and image deep tissues without harming the patient. The study appeared in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces.

March 21 2017

21:13

Scientists discover new 'boat' form of promising semiconductor GeSe

Princeton researchers have discovered a new form of the simple compound GeSe that has surprisingly escaped detection until now. This so-called beta-GeSe compound has a ring type structure like graphene and its monolayer form could have similarly valuable properties for electronic applications, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
16:22

Transparent silver: Tarnish-proof films for flexible displays, touch screens

The thinnest, smoothest layer of silver that can survive air exposure has been laid down at the University of Michigan, and it could change the way touchscreens and flat or flexible displays are made.
13:10

Electrocrystallization—breakthrough in gold nanoparticle research

A research team led by Professor Flavio Maran of the University of Padova (Italy) and Academy Professor Kari Rissanen of the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) has published in the prestigious the Journal of the American Chemical Society a study that demonstrates how it is possible to obtain very high quality crystals formed of gold nanoparticles.
12:50

Electronic oscillations in graphene could make a tabletop source of X-rays a reality

Since their discovery in 1895, X-rays have led to significant advances in science, medicine and industry. From probing distant galaxies to screening at airport security and facilitating medical diagnosis, they have allowed us to look beyond the surface and see what lies beneath.
10:36

Quantum dots illuminate transport within the cell

Biophysicists from Utrecht University have developed a strategy for using light-emitting nanocrystals as a marker in living cells. By recording the movements of these quantum dots, they can clarify the structure and dynamics of the cytoskeleton. Their findings were published today in Nature Communications.
10:35

Light-controlled gearbox for nanomachines

Rewarded with a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016, nanomachines provide mechanical work on the smallest of scales. Yet at such small dimensions, molecular motors can complete this work in only one direction. Researchers from the CNRS's Institut Charles Sadron, led by Nicolas Giuseppone, a professor at the Université de Strasbourg, working in collaboration with the Laboratoire de mathématiques d'Orsay (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud), have succeeded in developing more complex molecular machines that can work in one direction and its opposite. The system can even be controlled precisely, in the same way as a gearbox. The study was published in Nature Nanotechnology on March 20, 2017.
10:31

How fullerite becomes harder than diamond

Physicists have simulated the structure of a new material based on fullerite and single crystal diamond to show how this material can obtain ultrahigh hardness. This discovery offers potential conditions for obtaining ultrahard materials. The results were published in Carbon.

March 20 2017

16:01

'Flying saucer' quantum dots hold secret to brighter, better lasers

Fresh insights into living cells, brighter video projectors and more accurate medical tests are just three of the innovations that could result from a new way of fabricating lasers.
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